(Press-News.org) BOSTON, MA — A new study led by researchers at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute has found that reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients with diabetes, especially those considered low income, can be one step toward improving health outcomes.
The study, “Acute Diabetes Complications After Transition to a Value-Based Medication Benefit,” was published in the February 9 edition of JAMA Health Forum.
Treatment with antidiabetic agents, antihypertensives, and lipid-lowering drugs is essential for decreasing acute, preventable diabetes complications, including bacterial infections, neurovascular events, acute coronary disease, and diabetic ketoacidosis. However, high out-of-pocket costs for these medications can lead to suboptimal use.
To help alleviate these cost barriers, some employers have added preventive drug lists (PDL) to their insurance plan offerings. PDLs allow enrollees to pay reduced out-of-pocket amounts for a range of high-value preventive medications, including diabetes medications. While available evidence has shown that PDLs are associated with increased preventive medication prescription fills among patients with diabetes living in lower-income neighborhoods, the effects on health outcomes have been unclear.
“Employers are increasingly adopting PDLs to improve the health of their workers,” said lead author Frank Wharam, Harvard Medical School visiting professor of population medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and professor of medicine at Duke University. “Despite the growing prevalence of PDLs, their effect on health has been unclear until now. Our study is the first to suggest that PDLs can improve health outcomes among people with diabetes.”
Using a population of national commercial health plan members with diabetes aged 12 to 64, the team analyzed acute, preventable diabetes complications among members whose employers adopted PDLs compared to members whose employers did not adopt PDLs. The team found that following a switch to a plan including a PDL, members increased their use of antidiabetic medications, while days of acute, preventable diabetes complications decreased by 8.4% in the overall PDL group. Preventable days of diabetes complications decreased by 10.2% among PDL members from lower-income areas compared to the control group.
“We were pleased to discover that a relatively straightforward employer intervention was associated with improved health outcomes among diabetes patients, especially lower-income ones who might struggle with costs,” said senior author Dennis Ross-Degnan, Harvard Medical School associate professor of population medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He added, “Future studies should determine whether PDLs might also benefit patients with other chronic illnesses who are also at risk for adherence-related complications.”
About the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute’s Department of Population Medicine
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute's Department of Population Medicine is a unique collaboration between Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Harvard Medical School. Created in 1992, it is the first appointing medical school department in the United States based in a health plan. The Institute focuses on improving health care delivery and population health through innovative research and education, in partnership with health plans, delivery systems, and public health agencies. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Reducing diabetes medication costs can help improve outcomes, especially for low-income patients
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Thermal energy storage and the energy transition: MLU coordinates Europe-wide research project
An international research project led by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) delves into the next generation of seasonal thermal energy storage systems. The "INTERSTORES" project is investigating optimal ways to construct new types of storage systems and integrate them into energy systems. The collaboration between science and industry will receive nearly eleven million euros as part of "Horizon Europe", with around 1.5 million euros going to MLU. The aim is to improve the ...
An anticancer drug opens a new path for the treatment of Parkinson's
L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, February 8th, 2024. Once they enter the body, drugs, apart from carrying out their therapeutic function, are biochemically transformed by the action of the metabolic machinery, a process that facilitates their expulsion. This biotransformation results in a gradual disappearance of the drug, which is converted into its metabolites. These, in turn, can reach high concentrations in the body and also show a biological activity that may be different from that of the original drug. That is, the metabolites and the drug coexist ...
Innovative coating prevents limescale formation
Hot water tanks, washing machines, kettles: limescale forms in every domestic appliance that comes into contact with (hot) water – especially in areas where the water is hard, meaning high in calcium. Often the only thing that helps is to use vinegar or a special descaler to dissolve the rock-hard deposits and restore the appliance’s functionality. This is a nuisance in households – and an expensive problem in thermal power stations, for example those that generate electricity, where the formation of limescale is known as fouling. Heat exchangers are particularly prone to limescale, which greatly reduces the efficiency of the systems: ...
Novel technique has potential to transform breast cancer detection
OAK BROOK, Ill. – An innovative breast imaging technique provides high sensitivity for detecting cancer while significantly reducing the likelihood of false positive results, according to a study published today in Radiology: Imaging Cancer, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Researchers said the technique has the potential to offer more reliable breast cancer screening for a broader range of patients. Mammography is an effective screening tool for early detection of breast cancer, but its sensitivity ...
Children's Hospital Colorado accepted as one of nine core sites nationally in the prestigious Pediatric Heart Network
Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) is announcing its recent acceptance into the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), a collective of leading hospitals working to improve outcomes and quality of life for children – and more recently adults – with heart disease. The hospital’s Heart Institute will become one of nine clinical research centers across North America selected to be a part of this national network. “We are thrilled to be accepted as a new core site for the Pediatric Heart Network,” said Shelley Miyamoto, MD, professor and Jack Cooper Millisor Chair of Pediatric Cardiology ...
New tumor spatial mapping tool will help clinicians assess aggressiveness of cancer and personalize treatment
Scientists have developed a new AI tool that maps the function of proteins in a cancerous tumour, enabling clinicians to decide how to target treatment in a more precise way. In cancers such as clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), responses to existing treatments are different for each patient, making it difficult to identify the right drug treatment regime for each patient. For example, cancer therapeutic Belzutifan has recently been approved to treat ccRCC, but only has a response rate of 49% in patients with the most common form of the condition. To understand better why some patients respond better than others, researchers from the Universities of Bath and Nottingham studied ...
Certain older Americans show hesitation around brain scan research
Asian Americans are less likely than their white peers to participate in health research involving MRIs and addressing this hesitancy could improve research, according to a Rutgers Health-led study. Findings by the researchers, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, a journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, surveyed older adults about their experiences and perceptions of MRI brain imaging scans, their desire to learn results of scans and their attitudes related to dementia and overall research participation. According to the study, South Asian older adults – those 65 and older – are less likely than older white adults ...
Migration solves exoplanet puzzle
Ordinarily, planets in evolved planetary systems, such as the Solar System, follow stable orbits around their central star. However, many indications suggest that some planets might depart from their birthplaces during their early evolution by migrating inward or outward. This planetary migration might also explain an observation that has puzzled researchers for several years: the relatively low number of exoplanets with sizes about twice as large as Earth, known as the radius valley or gap. Conversely, there are many exoplanets smaller and larger than this size. “Six years ago, a reanalysis of data from the Kepler space telescope revealed a shortage of exoplanets with sizes around ...
New adhesive tape picks up and sticks down 2D materials as easily as child’s play
Fukuoka, Japan – Materials just atoms in thickness, known as two-dimensional (2D) materials, are set to revolutionize future technology, including in the electronics industry. However, commercialization of devices that contain 2D materials has faced challenges due to the difficulty in transferring these extremely thin materials from where they are made onto the device. Now, a research team from Kyushu University, in collaboration with Japanese company Nitto Denko, have developed a tape that can be used to stick 2D materials to many different surfaces, in an ...
Researchers discover cosmic dust storms from Type Ia supernova
Cosmic dust—like dust on Earth—comprises groupings of molecules that have condensed and stuck together in a grain. But the exact nature of dust creation in the universe has long been a mystery. Now, however, an international team of astronomers from China, the United States, Chile, the United Kingdom, Spain, etc., has made a significant discovery by identifying a previously unknown source of dust in the universe: a Type Ia supernova interacting with gas from its surroundings. The study was published in Nature Astronomy on Feb. 9, and was led by Prof. WANG Lingzhi from the South America Center for Astronomy of the Chinese Academy ...